Snow Pictures

Posted in 2010, Art, charleston, pictures, snow on February 14th, 2010 by VitaminZinc

It doesn’t snow in Charleston often.  I also don’t take pictures often, but snow is an occasion to brave the elements. I got some pretty decent shots, but I kind of wish I had a better camera. Oh well. Enjoy.

Motoko Kusanagi: Stand Alone Complex – Variable Motion Figure (VMF) Toy Review

Posted in figure, ghost in the shell, kusanagi, motoko, review, sac, stand alone complex, Toy Reviews, variable motion, vmf on February 4th, 2010 by VitaminZinc

I really like this toy. Really. It was worth every bit that I paid for it. That being said, I got it for $75 off Amazon. My normal source of toys,, was sold out of it and has been for the longest time. Also, I think I got it about $5 cheaper off Amazon, too. So cheers to me!

She stands at about 8.5 inches tall, and is fully articulated. She can make about any pose you can think of. I was even able to get her into some crazy Kung Fu poses and was able to balance her with it on one foot. The joints are tight as hell–which explains why she’s able to do such crazy poses. The problem with that is, the joints like to pop out. Mainly the hips and shoulders. But, I’d rather they be too tight than too loose.

She comes with an extra pair of upper arms so you can switch them out when she’s not wearing the jacket. Oh, by the way, the jacket’s removable. You also get the choice of a handgun, or the big rifle thing–which comes with a silencer piece that can be added. With the awesomeness that this figure is, I’d kind of disappointed in a lack of hand options. I understand the fact that she only has one head. She’s not a very emotional character. So, it works with just the calm face. She also comes with a small circular base to stand her on. Although, it’s not very necessary considering how solid her stances are.

Over all, I can say that this is one of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time. I’m glad I did it.


  • Very articulated.
  • Good representation of the character.


  • Price. $75 – Although it’s not an issue to me, since it’s a very quality figure, I can see where someone else would think it’s a con.
  • Lack of interchangeable hands.

Armor Plus Ronin Warriors: Ryo of Wildfire Toy Review

Posted in armor plus, figure, review, ronin warriors, ryo, toy, Toy Reviews, wildfire on February 4th, 2010 by VitaminZinc

IMG_0348To start off, I was quite stoked to hear they were remaking Ronin Warriors toys (or ‘Samurai Troopers’ to others). The figures were even available for preorder on some sites, and even solicited in Previews. However, this was not to be. All orders were canceled, and the only way to get the toy was to import it. So, that means sellers on eBay, generally. I don’t like that idea at all, so I used–who I use all the time. They were nice enough to honor the preorders for the toy, but at a higher cost since they had to import it as well. I’d rather pay a couple of dollars more to KNOW I’m getting my product.

I was on the fence for a long time on this, since the price was right at $90. That is a lot of money to me. I really liked Ronin Warriors, though. But, I’m not a fan of Ryo. I actually think he was the lamest of all of them. But, knowing my luck, they’d come out with all of the rest of them, and I’d be missing one and have to pay even more to get it. Of course, now that I’ve bought the toy, they’ll obviously release a cheap American version for half the price. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t!

On to the toy itself– it’s ok. For the price you pay for it, you’d expect it to be a little more sturdy. I started off very excited about it because of all of the extras it came with. It’s basically the perfect representation of Ryo of Wildfire. He comes with 2 heads (angry/open-mouthed, and calm), and and 3 sets of hands (fists, open hands, and holding swords). He even comes with a black armor dummy to put the armor on for display purposes while the main figure… does whatever he does.

It also has 2 helmets–one with the face showing, and one with the mask down. It’s interchangeable, just like the faces. So, you can have it however you like. You can also have it with the swords in the sheaths, swords in hand, OR the swords together as they are in the final attack.

IMG_0301I originally started taking lots of pictures for this, but then got very very frustrated with how the armor is put on. Specifically, the shoulder armor. The white shoulder-piece comes off its hinge, and the hinge of the red shoulder piece goes in its place. It took me about 10 minutes to get ONE shoulder on. I think it was more of just my particular figure having the defect, but there’s a lot of room for problems. I think they could have engineered the combination a little better. There also aren’t any instructions to speak of. You just kind of have to figure this out as you go. Maybe it was supposed to have instructions and mine didn’t have them…?

Now, parts of the armor are die-cast! It makes the figure very heavy for the size. Which, by the way, it’s about 6 inches tall. It makes sense that it would cost as much as it does, knowing that it’s got metal parts and all sorts of options to go with. While I do really like the figure, it’s not really one that I want to mess around with. The pose it’s in now is the pose it will be in forever.

I do look forward to future releases of the Ronin Warriors figures if they continue to make them. I’d be more happy to pay this price for them instead of Ryo, him being my least favorite.


  • Very accurate representation of the character.
  • Die-cast armor.
  • Lots of options for poses. Heads, hands, swords, etc.


  • Price is a bit high.
  • Difficult to switch armor. It’s a chore.
  • Kinda heavy.